Just past mannequins in camouflage, bulletproof jumpsuits, a group of Russian men gazed admiringly at a display of automatic rifles. Around a corner, an exhibitor took an ax to a pane of security glass, sending small pieces skittering across the floor.
In the battle between Russia’s criminal gangs and authorities, the criminals so far have seemed to have the upper hand. So on Tuesday, Moscow law enforcement and several companies put their best weapons on display.
Under the broad theme of “‘Security ‘97,” vendors peddled everything from handguns and gas masks to personal bodyguards and the latest computersecurity systems. Others simply displayed their armored vehicles for the enjoyment of onlookers at Moscow’s most prestigious exhibition hall.
Lydia Yevseyevna promoted a plastic hazardous materials mask with a mouthpiece, hose and filter that she said could be used in any home.
“Of course, regular people can use this, too,” she said. “Say there is a fire in your apartment. A person could put this on and put out the fire. This is for individuals, too.”
Crime has escalated since the fall of the Soviet Union six years ago. And while violent crimes have declined since 1995, the fear remains.
Local journalism is essential.
Give directly to The Spokesman-Review's Northwest Passages community forums series -- which helps to offset the costs of several reporter and editor positions at the newspaper -- by using the easy options below. Gifts processed in this system are not tax deductible, but are predominately used to help meet the local financial requirements needed to receive national matching-grant funds.
Subscribe to the Coronavirus newsletter
Get the day’s latest Coronavirus news delivered to your inbox by subscribing to our newsletter.